(TibetanReview.net, Jun30, 2018) – The Chinese authorities are making life impossible for the family of a Tibetan woman who they had caught during her visit to her home in Nyalam (Chinese: Nielamu) County of Shigate City in Tibet in 2015 with a picture of the Dalai Lama in her mobile phone and which she had circulated to others over various online social media. The woman, Kelsang Lhamo, has since escaped her homeland again and lives in south India, reported Oslo-based Voice of Tibet (VOT) radio broadcast service Jun 25.
She has said her family members were detained and interrogated for three days during which her younger brother was severely beaten by the local police. In addition to the harsh interrogation and daily visits to the family, the authorities have suspended all the basic rights and privileges for the family members, the woman was cited as saying.
Apart from that, the family has been banned from pursuing their means of livelihood. This included preventing its members from the annual seasonal hunt last month for the much-prized cordyceps, known in Tibetan as yartsa gunbu, which is a primary source of income for many local Tibetans. The Chinese authorities were stated to have permitted some 400 local Tibetans to hunt for the medicinal plant, but none of the woman’s family member. The plant is highly valued in Chinese and Tibetan medical traditions.
The authorities were also reported to have caused the woman’s sister’s family business to go bust by preventing her from visiting Nepal for this purpose.
It was during her visit to her home in 2015 to see her ailing father that the woman was detained by police for keeping and sharing online pictures of Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader. “They asked me about the type of organisations I work with in exile and confiscated my phone and travel documents,” she was quoted as saying.
She was kept under close surveillance and banned from travelling outside her hometown.
She was also reported to have been detained, apparently on an earlier occasion, while undertaking a pilgrimage in Ngari area to be questioned about her alleged connection with the Tibetan Government in Exile, her meeting with the Dalai Lama and the reasons for coming back to Tibet.
It was not clear when she first escaped from Tibet. The report only said she had visited her home twice since 2008.